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Home > Health Information > Preventative Care > Omega 3 > How to Choose the Right Fish Oil

How to Choose the Best Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil supplements have been proven to have a wide range of health benefits. Of course, eating wild caught fish would be the most ideal source of obtaining fish oils, however, the fish oil supplements are an ideal alternative for those who do not like fish, or are even allergic to it. What makes the components of fish oil so important are two different types of omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). With the vast amounts of fish oil supplements on the market, it is a truly daunting task for any one person to choose the best fish oil supplement for them.

IMPORTANT FACTORS TO LOOK FOR

Wild Caught Fish

You want oil sourced from healthy fish swimming freely in wide-open oceans, not from crowded fish farms.

Molecular Distillation

Molecular distillation removes toxins, such as PCBs and Mercury. This is known as molecularly distilled fish oil. Enough said.

High Potency

Don't be fooled by a lower priced bottle. Since you take fewer high-potency fish oil softgels per day, these can actually save you money in the long run. Plus, taking 1 or 2 softgels per day is much easier than taking 4 to 6.

Another word of caution: Since the daily recommended value of Omega 3 is not regulated, manufacturers can set their own serving size and daily recommendations. To entice customers, some brands say to only take 1 or 2 softgels per day even though they are not high potency. You must look at the supplement facts panel to see the EPA & DHA values. EPA & DHA are the Omega 3 fatty acids that you want. Many doctors recommend taking at least 500 to 900 mg of EPA & DHA per day. We've found that Fundamental Omega 3 has 720 mg of EPA and 480 of DHA per serving, is molecularly distilled, and burp-free, making this the best fish oil supplement around.

Enteric Coated

It is well worth it to choose an enteric coated fish oil supplement. Enteric coated softgels dissolve in the intestines rather than the stomach. This prevents the fishy burps normally associated with fish oils.

Made in USA

Buying American made supplements not only ensures quality, but also helps keep jobs in the USA.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Supplements

Brain Function - Anti-Depressant

Some of the benefits to the health of the human body are shocking on their own. There are some that surprise even the most health conscious people. One of the most beneficial uses of fish oil supplements is the use of it to ease depression. The chemical compound of the omega-3 in the fish oil supplement allows the serotonin, the body's natural anti-depressant, to easily be transported between cells lowering the overall rate of depression. This is extremely useful alongside those medications which are prescribed, as the prescriptions can be lower doses and achieve the same results. Many doctors use fish oil supplements along with medications in child cases to avoid complications with the body's organs.

Cardiovascular Health - Lower Cholesterol - Reduced Inflammation

Lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and reduced inflammation throughout the body are also benefits to taking omega-3 supplements. Perhaps among some of the most sought after benefits of omega-3 supplements are the assistance in the prevention of schizophrenia, the increase in mental focus, the reduction in depression like symptoms, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease. Each of these added bonus benefits of taking a fish oil supplement are a few of the reasons so many people seek out the proper pills to take.

How do I know which fish oil supplement to choose?

With the overwhelming masses of fish oil supplements on the market, it is no wonder anybody would seek counsel in their purchase. Nobody wants to buy the wrong omega 3 supplement, and everybody wants to experience the maximum benefits of omega-3 supplements. No matter which brand the consumer chooses, one should always strive to purchase a fish oil supplement that is made in America.

Wild Caught Fish

First and foremost be sure that the container is labeled with the type of fish the oil has been extracted from. There are numerous varieties of fish, and some are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than others. When taking a glance, those omega-3 supplements which have been taken from lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon are a few types of fish which are much higher in omega-3 than the others. Make sure that you are getting a fish oil from wild caught fish as opposed to farm raised. If it does not specify "Wild Caught", it is most likely farm raised. Wild fish are free to swim the open oceans and tend to have a healthier life than fish living in crowded farms.

Potency of Omega 3 - EPA & DHA

Next, one must be sure to obtain a fish oil supplement which provides the most EPA and DHA in the smallest dosage possible; in other words, a high potency fish oil supplement. If, for instance, one was in need of taking approximately 1,200 milligrams of Omega 3 per day in order to lower bad cholesterol, one would need to take 5 pills of a lower quality supplement containing only 240 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. By choosing a higher quality supplement, one would be able to achieve the same results while taking less dosage. This not only enables the body to break down the fish oil supplements in a much more simple way, but is a better solution overall. Many times a manufacturer advertises their supplement has 1,000 mg of fish oil. What you need to look at is not the milligrams of fish oil in general, but the milligrams of the EPA and DHA. These are the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids within the fish oil. The best fish oil supplements will have at least 360 mg of EPA and 240 mg of DHA per serving.

Molecular Distillation

One of the most important steps when choosing a fish oil supplement for omega-3 fatty acids is to be sure that the supplement itself is completely free of impurities. From the labeling on the supplement's bottle, there is a way to determine the purity of the fish oil supplement. The information on the bottle should say "molecularly distilled." This is extremely important as it determines the filtration process in which the fish oil supplement has gone through. Sadly, most fish contains high levels of mercury, and many other impurities, so being sure you have a molecularly distilled purified source of fish oil supplement will guarantee you are not taking in toxins such as mercury. Those fish oil supplements made in America usually assure quality distillation, but make sure it says it on the bottle.

Ratio of EPA to DHA

Check the ratio of EPA to DHA. While they are both forms of omega-3 fatty acids, the body will utilize them in different ways. While there is widespread debate over just which ratio is more therapeutic, there has been solid evidence leading to EPA being more beneficial. Until the debate has been finalized, it is best to choose a fish oil supplement which is higher in EPA having a 3:2 ratio; for example 720 mg EPA to 480 mg of DHA per serving. As a general rule, choosing an omega-3 supplement higher in EPA is usually better.

While it is important to check the ratios of EPA and DHA, one should also favor fish oil supplements that are low in fillers. By comparing the milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids with the per-capsule milligram on the front of the bottle, one can see just how much added filler the pill contains. A proper molecularly distilled fish oil supplement will have less than 50% filler. A typical high quality fish oil supplement will have 40% filler or less.

In the End

Following these few, simple rules will enable one to choose the best fish oil supplement for them. Keeping an eye on ratios, the source of the fish oil, as well as just how they have distilled it will all play a part in just how effective the fish oil supplement will be.


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